Review: Bound By Flames (A Dark Prince Novel, #3) by Jeaniene Frost
Released January 27, 2015
Reviewed by Sheena
Favorite Quote: “You might not be the easiest person, but who is? Besides, easy is overrated compared to you in all your spectacular, mercurial, enigmatic glory.” He smiled, a familiar arrogance now shading his expression. “I’ll remind you that you said that during our next fight.”
Must I always be the last gal to board the bandwagon? Is it at all possible that I am forever destined to constantly find myself in a near miss with the proverbial boat? You know, that rock I’ve been under…Argh! I’ve decided. I blame you all. Why has no one strapped me down, and shoved a Jeaniene Frost novel in my grubby little hands? Geezus! This book was amazing. I knew it was a part of a series, but I get my bearings pretty well, and I expect any author worth their words to be able to catch me up to speed relatively soon, so I am largely not bothered when it comes to reading a mid-series book for the first time. I began Bound By Flames and my mouth was literally hanging open by the first few chapters. Frost is unforgiving with her amazing dialogue and breakneck action and plot developments. She takes no prisoners and too bad for you if you can’t keep up! I nearly put the book down several times to start the series at Book 1, but I didn’t want to stop! This book is very hero driven, but there is this thread of female empowerment that totally embodies heroine Leila, and for that I certainly cheered!
Paranormal fantasy where our heroine spent time on the carnie circuit, marries Vamp lord (who I already know has to be the hottest male ev-a) life and death battle royale, duh- sold! The twists and resolution in Bound by Flames makes reviewing sans spoilers a little precarious, however, I will endeavor to steer away from the more WHOA BABY!?! OMG landmine developments.
This novel is rich in character development and displays the bond between Leila and Vlad in a refreshingly realistic way. There is a raw honesty to their relationship. I love how they communicate and make exceptions and concessions regarding one another. Who knew such mature love existed in paranormal fantasy! Vlad, while Alpha to his core, is not domineering and is not compelled to control Leila. He respects her and in return she is loyal and caters to him in a way that is really heart warming. This was ever more apparent when Vlad faced his past demons had to explain to Leila about his….eh marital history. Though born of a particularly vulnerable and emotional scene, the way he described his history with such detachment and “Vlad, this is your life” recollection, made me do the emo-sad-smile, you know, the one where you may or may not have tears stinging your eyes, yet you find a thread of tender sympathy that tugs your heart strings, lifting the corners of your mouth into a smile. *sigh* Oh Vlad….
Vlad was so sensual, insatiable and dominating in bed, it was hard to reconcile him with what he’d just described..
“Before the wedding, I made sure that I could perform as required,” he went on, no emotion in his tone now. It took several unsuccessful visits with whores who knew better than to repeat my difficulties before I could get through the act in its entirety. Then I married Clara and rushed through my husbandly responsibilities with as little contact as possible. I was relieved when she became pregnant because that meant I could finally stop.
Vlad’s past was a big revelation and part of what made this installment so gripping. There were no holds barred and the book literally hummed with savage intensity. Vlad’s greatest and most elusive enemy is back and has Leila in the cross-hairs. Vlad is willing to risk life and limb to protect her and save them – to his own detriment. This is by no means a horror book but (villain who I shall not name to protect the *gasp!* of the Ah-Ha moment) is vile and frightening and absolutely ruthless. Betrayal and a violent obsession with eliminating Vlad (my beloved), said villain makes the skin crawl. Frost characterized them exceptionally well, I am partial to bad guys and can see the beauty in a good antagonist but whew….just whew!
Bound by Flames is not hot and steamy. And that is okay- yes, I actually said that, smut slut that I am, I didn’t notice the lack of skin slapping until I had finished the book and sat in reflection. Too much action, too much emotional journey, too much vulnerable strength, too much pure love and unconditional acceptance and too much pulse racing adventure for me to care that the story was light on the sexuality. It made up for that in its stark intimacy. Intimacy that was so damn romantic it made me swoon in a proud sort of way…
“Yes. I trusted you with my life, Leila, and there is only one other person in this world of whom that statement is true.” Now I really felt humbled. He hadn’t just trusted me with his life, which was incredible enough. He had also suppressed his fifteenth- century tendency to lock me away at the first sign of danger. Instead, he’d treated ,e as an equal by believing that both my abilities and my resolve would prove sufficient for the challenge.
Because words wouldn’t nearly be enough to describe what that meant to me, I kissed him, trying to tell him with my lips and the arms I wrapped around him that I loved him more than anything in the world. His mouth moved over mine with an intensity that rivaled words, too, but he didn’t need them. he dropped his shields and let his emotions spill over mine. The effect weakened my knees while causing my grip to tighten around him as if a thousand-foot chasm had opened beneath me.
*le sigh* wow. Just yes.
Love affirming, spell casting, necromancer- hunting, and a fight to the finish, there is never a dull moment in Bound by Flames. I am quite sure I could not have picked a more perfect introduction to Frost’s world. I am definitely here to stay. After-all, given his brave soul bearing and emotional/physical scar revealing, Vlad is my new book boyfriend. *bats lashes.*